Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Review/Giveaway of Leapfrog Products! *CLOSED*
The didj is a new product from Leap Frog that is designed as a step up from the poplar Leapster system. Didj is designed to emulate hand-held gaming systems, specifically the Sony PSP. The didj has a keypad, A, B, L & R buttons found on most gaming systems. The game is sleek and modern with high quality construction. Controls are easy to use and setup is intuitive. Children do need some reading skills to use the game.
I reviewed the didj with the built-in game and the new Star Wars; the Clone Wars game. The system includes the game Jetpack Heroes. This game involves guiding the character through a simple left to right board were he collects various gems and tokens while trying to rescue small sparkly creatures. The game’s online feature allows users to custom design “didj’s”, characters from the jetpack game.
Star Wars is a typical 2-D run and jump game that features math problems every few minutes that the user must solve to continue. The educational value of the game is okay, but it olds the attention of its target audience really well.
Both games are well-designed, easy to use, and engaging to play.
The Didj features an online component that allows players to customize games using earned points. The aforementioned Didjerator, which allows children to customize Didj characters, has literally hundreds of options for kids. The micromods feature allows players to “purchase” additional modifications for their games. Children can adjust the skill level of their Didjs as well. The website also allows parents to sync to their child’s Didj to allow them to monitor their child’s activities.
The only drawback I encountered was with installing the software. I installed on an Apple iBook G4 computer. The install takes as long as 20 minute and is very crash prone early on. However, the more I’ve used it the steadier it seems to have become.
Other than the software, the Didj is a delightful device for children 6-10 years old. While it’s far from a full-on learning machine, it is a great alternative to handheld systems like the Nintendo DS. Parents do not have to worry about the rating of games, as they are all appropriate for the target age group. The game is easy for the Xbox generation to understand, both my 7 year old and my 5 year old instinctively knew how to use it. The website features do require some reading in some areas, so you may need to assist children who are not strong readers. A non-reader, however, can use the didjerator, fairly easily.
Overall, the Didj is a wonderful addition to the Leapfrog line. It offers a step up from the Leapster as children age. The system and games are very economical, and game play will keep children engaged. Once the bugs are worked out in software, the game will offer a clear choice over entertainment only systems.
My 7 year old LOVES his didj, and his twelve year old cousin enjoyed playing it too!
You can win! Leapfrog was kind enough to send us a Leapster 2 to give away--along with the Star Wars--Clone Wars game for Leapster! How is that for fun?! This would make a PERFECT Christmas gift for someone in your life!
To win, please leave a comment on this post....any 'ol comment will do! Please do be sure that you leave me a way to contact you! The contest will be open until next Wednesday, November 26. I will pick a winner sometime after 8 am on Wednesday.
Good luck!! Don't forget to spread the word and stop by again soon!